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April 17, 2006

Executions on track for NC and Virginia

Though lethal injection litigation has disrupted execution plans in California and Florida and Missouri and in the federal system, legal developments in North Carolina and Virginia today keep those states on track to go forward with executions scheduled for later this month.

  • In North Carolina, as detailed in this AP story, the federal judge that had questioned the state's lethal injection protocol has now ruled that the "state of North Carolina has taken sufficient precautions to ensure that an inmate scheduled to die this week will remain asleep during his execution."

  • In Virginia, as detailed in this article, a "federal judge on Monday refused to stay the execution of Dexter Lee Vinson, who challenged Virginia's method of lethal injection....  After a 45-minute hearing, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that nothing has changed since he upheld the state's lethal injection procedures in the case of James Edward Reid, who was the last Virginia inmate executed in September 2004."

UPDATE: Thanks to a helpful reader, I can now link to this 7-page order from Judge Howard approving North Carolina's tweaked execution protocol.  Here is the key concluding paragraph:

The State's use of the BIS monitor, the execulion team's resulting awareness of the level of consciousness of the plaintiff, and the administration, if necessary, of additional quantities of sodium pentothal to ensure that plaintiff is unconscious prior to the administration of lethal drugs, together satisfies this court that defendants have substantially complied with the terms of the court's April 7, 2006 order, and that the balance of hardships under Blackwelder now favors the State and counsels against issuance of a preliminary injunction and stay in this case.

April 17, 2006 at 08:04 PM | Permalink

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Tracked on Apr 18, 2006 7:32:38 AM

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